Póster Técnico: Identification and quantification of VOC and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in operating theaters where electronic surgery devices where used - Año 2010



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The use of electronic surgery through laparoscopic procedures has increased in the last years, becoming a very important methodology in modern surgery. Laparoscopic surgery, also called minimally invasive surgery (MIS), produces a small incision in the abdomen avoiding the larger incisions that are normally done in traditional surgical procedures. Electronic surgery dissects and burns tissue by high-frequency electric current. The destruction of tissue through heating produces smoke by-products that can contain toxic gases and vapours, bio aerosols, dead and live cellular material and viruses. The use of adequate smoke evacuation devices and precautions against inhalation have to be ensured for the operation theatre staff.

An evaluation of the concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) was done for an operating theatre where a laparoscopic surgery was being performed. First of all, the background VOC and PAH concentrations in the empty operating theatre were evaluated. One sample was taken outdoors, where the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) installation gathers the outdoor air before filtering it. Two samples more were taken inside the operating room, one in the ceiling of the operating table (incoming air), and other near one ventilation exhaust located in a wall, at floor level. A second sampling was done during an operation where electronic surgery was performed. The surgical smoke produced was evacuated without being filtered. Three samples were taken, one in the outdoors HVAC air gathering, other in the environment of the operating theatre and the last located at breathing level of the doctor performing the operation.

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